Pit bull breeders might get a break
By ROBERT HITE
The Independence City Council took a step toward making an exception for breeders of pit bulls in the city Monday.
The council heard a first reading of an ordinance to exempt pit bull breeders from being required to spay or neuter the dog and to lower the age of ownership from 21 to 18. A vote will be taken next week to amend the ordinance approved weeks ago.
Council Member Jim Page made the request for the exception and explained that the breeders are not breeding the pit bulls to fight.
"They breed them to show," he said. "A show dog cannot be fixed."
"These are show dogs, not alley dogs," Page said.
City Manager Robert Heacock said the breeders and handlers of the dogs have to be able to control the dog. The dog also has to be registered.
Mayor Don Reimal said the dog has to have a history of breeding and the owner cannot just say it is breeding dog.
"The dog has to have a track record of breeding," he said. "We do have to have a responsibility to make sure the people comply."
This discussion came before Alan Hill, the man severely mauled by pit bulls several months ago, was recognized and spoke at the meeting. He complimented the council for banning the dogs from the city.
"It was courageous," he said.
He said he hoped the ordinance would lead to an absence of pit bulls in Independence in 12 to 14 years.
"If it was up to me, I wish they were all dead," Hill said. "But, I have a bias."
Health Department Director Larry Jones said there are 146 known pit bulls in the city. Of that number, 125 have been registered.
Pit bull owners must register their dogs by Oct. 27 or be in violation of the ordinance.
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crossposted from bsl